When it comes to choosing between an apple and a chocolate bar, what makes you make the right decision?
The answer will probably surprise you …
Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but not that much.
In fact, researchers have shown that abstract thinking makes a better decision than more concrete thinking.
They showed that people wishing to lose weight more easily choose an apple rather than a chocolate bar after having an abstract reflection (ex: Why being healthy is important?).
A more concrete reflection of the type: what should I do to be in good health, does not allow the same results.
In the same way, children were tested.
Their goal: to stay 15 minutes alone in front of a Marshmallow without touching it.
Their reward: a second Marshmallow.
The children who resisted the temptation best had a rather abstract reflection of the type: it looks like a cloud.
The children who resisted it the least had a more emotional reflection: this marshmallow looks delicious.
The amazing thing is thatby practicing abstract thinking, you make better decisions unconsciously. We do not struggle anymore internally.
What can we conclude from these studies?
If you have trouble making the right decisions, or feel that you often make the wrong choices, do more philo!
Take a moment each day to think about somethings very abstract :
What is fear? (Rather than managing my anxieties)
Why do human beings seek connection to others? (Rather than how can I overcome my fear of speaking in public)
Why being healthy makes you happier? (Rather than lose 10 kilos)
What is success? What is happiness ?
It may be time to take out your old philosophy textbooks and think about some abstract questions!
Do not think too much anyway …
On this, have a nice day!